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Morphogenesis ... The cells begin to clump together and become different from each other. How does this happen with no thought, no central coordination? How do cells that start off identical know to become say skin while others become part of the eye? Professor Jim Al-Khalili, The Secret Life of Chaos, BBC 2011
Evolution presupposes the cell. Dinesh D’Souza, v Christopher Hitches: The God Debate
Around fourteen hundred million years ago – that’s the middle of August on our calendar – some kinds of primitive cells began to collaborate to form complex cells. David Attenborough: Life on Earth (revised series)
We are about to enter the living cell. A realm in its own way as complex and beautiful as the realm of galaxies and stars. Among the many red blood cells we encounter a white blood cell – a lymphocyte – whose job it is to protect me against invading microbes. Professor Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue, PBS 1980
Every cell is a triumph of Natural Selection. And we’re made of trillions of cells. We are each of us a multitude. Within us is a little universe. ibid.
The idea of the cell would languish in obscurity for two hundred years. The cell finally resurfaced in the mid-nineteenth century in the research laboratories of Prussia. There were now well-engineered microscopes on every laboratory bench. Used to expose new wonders. And researchers now saw cells not only in cork but in other plants and in animals. In fact they saw cells in every living thing. Michael Mosley, The Story of Science: Power, Proof & Passion, BBC 2010
The electron microscope is an instrument capable of enlarging or magnifying of the order of 100,000x. From such minute studies it is possible to make models ... of cells with the outer skin removed. What is Life? BBC 1959
What is life and where does it come from? … You need 18 kilos of carbon, a small canister of nitrogen, 50 kilos of water, enough phosphorus to make 2,000 matches, the same amount of iron as a small nail and around 20 other elements … These exact same chemicals are organised into cells. 60,000 billion tiny incredibly complex structures that make up our body. Adam Rutherford, The Cell s1e1: The Hidden Kingdom, BBC 2010
The story of the cell is the most powerful story in science. ibid.
[Robert] Brown noticed a distinct shape within each cell … He called it the Nucleus. ibid.
How do cells know what to do? What goes on inside cells? How do these tiny structures make living organisms? Adam Rutherford, The Cell s1e2: The Chemistry of Life
Every organ and tissue is made of different types of cells working together. And that all cells come from other cells ... Somehow cells must contain the secret of life itself. ibid.
DNA was confirmation that there were something special inside the nucleus of cells. ibid.
Somehow when cells divide they pass on the essence of life from cell to cell. ibid.
[Theodore] Boveri was predicting the existence of genes. ibid.
Scientists had peered into the cell nucleus: they had found chromosomes. And they had shown that these chromosomes carry information we inherit: genes. But they still had no idea how. ibid.
Avery got a result: stripped of their DNA the power of the lethal bacteria to transform other cells simply vanished. ibid.
DNA was controlling cells. ibid.
How DNA was built: and this turned out to be the most famous story in Biology ... Crick and Watson had worked out the structure of DNA. ibid.
DNA’s structure had revealed the secret of how genes are reproduced every time a cell divides. ibid.
To make a living organism takes a staggering amount of DNA. ibid.
Each of these genetic switches controlled one major chunk of the fly’s body. ibid.
The story of the cell is the story of the evolution of life itself. ibid.
These cells are a staggering one billion years old. It’s now believed that all life on Earth emerged from one single primordial cell … Every since the spark of life has passed from cell to cell. Adam Rutherford, The Cell s1e3: The Spark of Life
Many of the amino acids vital to all living things could have been present in the Earth’s primordial soup. ibid.
Crick proposed that the information inside DNA was in fact a precise set of instructions. ibid.
Our planet is bursting with life ... Every single thing that has ever existed on earth has one thing in common: and it’s this: DNA ... This stuff is the most ingenious code in the universe ... And what an amazing story we’ve uncovered. Adam Rutherford, The Gene Code: The Book of Life, BBC 2011
Complex cells like the ones we’re made of suddenly appeared. ibid.
For the first billion years or so life on Earth consisted entirely of simple single cells like bacteria and archaea. Then about two billion years ago more complex cells appeared. ibid.
Mitochondria: The host now had the power to become bigger. ibid.
We can see about two hundred genes scattered around my chromosomes that ... originally came from archaea ... We found short stretches of DNA that are uncannily similar to bacteria. ibid.
Back to our wormy friends: in June 2008 the entire Amphioxus genome sequence was finished; it revealed that our genome is essentially a Amphioxus genome quadrupled. ibid.
The genes that build these bones are essentially the same in all species. ibid.
It takes 120 trillion cells to make a human. They are the fundamental units of Life. Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell, BBC 2012
In the last decade scientists have been able to witness what once seemed impossible: the world inside a human cell. ibid.
DNA is a chain of chemicals organised into genes. Each gene holds the instructions to build a specific protein. ibid.
Our cells are under constant attack. ibid.
Stem-cell research is the key to developing cures for degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and motor-neuron disease from which I and many others suffer. The fact that the cells may come from embryos is not an objection, because the embryos are going to die anyway. Stephen Hawking
There is another universe which fascinates me: the one fitting inside our bodies. Our own personal galaxies of cells. Today, we are on the new brink of a new age in medicine. Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, Discovery 2014
Are stem cells magic bullets or ticking time bombs? ibid.
For the first half of geological time our ancestors were bacteria. Most creatures still are bacteria, and each one of our trillions of cells is a colony of bacteria. Richard Dawkins
The religious objection to stem-cell research is that it involves abortion, and the objection to that is that every human being is a unique soul. This is ridiculous. Richard Dawkins, interview Horizon: The President’s Guide to Science, BBC 2008
A cell is a versatile chemical factory, capable of spewing out massive quantities of a wide variety of different substances, the choice being made by which enzyme is present. And how is that choice made? By which gene is turned on. Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth p241
Whether or not a given gene is turned on in a given cell at a given time is determined, often via a cascade of other genes called switch genes or controller genes, by the chemical environment of the cell. ibid. p243
The body is a community made up of its innumerable cells or inhabitants. Thomas A Edison
Cancer cells come pre-programmed to execute a well-defined cascade of changes, seemingly designed to facilitate both their enhanced survival and their dissemination through the bloodstream. There is even an air of conspiracy in the way that tumours use chemical signals to create cancer-friendly niches in remote organs. Paul Davies
Already from your own cells scientists can grow skin, cartilage, noses, blood vessels, bladders and windpipes. In the future, scientists will grow more complex organs, like livers and kidneys. The phrase ‘organ failure’ will disappear. Michio Kaku